Pick any Indian wedding, anywhere in the world and you are likely to see lots of lehngas, saris, sherwanis—often looking all too familiar in the traditional reds, pinks, maybe cream. The heavy embroideries, especially in womenswear—like zardozi, sequin and pearl work—along with heavy kundan sets ensure the ensembles, while beautiful, don’t really stand out. In menswear, blacks and blues are restricted to three-piece men’s suits and bandhgalas.
Why not break the traditional code and pick an outfit that exhibits your approach to fashion? Ami Patel, a celebrity stylist, says: “A good thing happening today is the increasing desire to experiment, even if it’s something related to something as traditional as a wedding, which was a no-go zone (in terms of experimentation). Of course, there are many people who want their reds. But then, slowly there are those who want mint, white in their clothes. Five years ago, if you told me white would become a thing in Indian wedding wear, I would have laughed. Today, you see brides wearing it (popular content creator Alanna Panday, styled by Patel, wore all-white for her wedding in March)."
We asked stylists Akshay Tyagi, Bharat Gupta and Patel for tips on a mix of traditional and edgy. Here's what they had to say:
Pick a statement jewellery piece and let it be the talking point of the whole look, suggests Tyagi. A bridesmaid may opt for an armour of jewels, like this one by Outhouse Jewellery, encrusted as a bib on top of a simple tunic dress, for a pre-wedding bash.
Try layering using silhouettes. You can play with the length of the outer jacket with a mid-length kurta or even a skirt, suggests Tyagi.
Shape the sari the way you want. Team with a blouse for a friend’s reception and drop the sari for high-waist, wide- legged pants for the after- party, suggests Gupta.
SPICY SHADES & SHAPES
Enough with pastel shades. Make a statement with less- opted-for colours like teal and brown in ensembles that are not often seen in Indian weddings, such as this ‘kaftan’ by Sabyasachi.
Add a fun romper or a soothing co-ord- set, like the one by Tarun Tahiliani, for a beachside bridal party, says Gupta.
A good rule to follow: Mix it up. Complement heavier pieces with lighter elements like stud earrings and a soft make-up look, says Tyagi. Just a head- piece, for example, would look great for a cocktail outing.
Patel says a maatha-patti and jewels in the hair can be more than enough too. You can wear them together for a wedding function, and either one for an evening party, depending on the look you want.
Skip the lehnga and flower jewellery combo for haldi, says Patel. “How about a bejewelled bralette with a long A-line skirt?” she asks. “You can wear both separately for a casual outing. Maybe the skirt with a black/ white shirt, and bralette under a colourful shirt, along with a pair of denims. Just match with a bunch of pearls or artificial jewellery.”